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« What could have been...| Main| Which actors will Oscar celebrate this year?»
Monday
May 02 2016

Stage Door: She Loves Me (and Tony Preview)

Overheard whilst exiting Broadway'sShe Loves Methis weekend:

[surprised] That was just like 'You've Got Mail'!

Bingo,tourist ladies,bingo.She Loves Me,the 1963 musical,currently in the middle of its second Broadway revival,is adapted fromthe 1937HungarianplayParfumeriebyMiklós László.It's inspired so many riffs so often you'd think it was a Shakespeare comedy.The play has already resulted in three well-known movies in the form of the touching Jimmy Stewart clasic (The Shop Around the Corner,1940),an undervalued Judy Garland romance (In the Good Old Summertime,1949),and the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks rom-comYou've Got Mail(1998).The shop changes as does the mode by which the anonymous lovers correspond without realizing they know and hate each other in real life.Expect an internet catfishing riff on the story in 3...2...1...Anyway,in 1963 the play was adapted intoShe Loves Mefor the musical stage...

She Loves Meis firmly in the vein of the very old fashioned Broadway musical: lots of singing,corny humor,and sentiment.Perhaps it was even old fashioned in 1963?Though it takes place in Budapest it plays like old time Americana.What saves the musical from its own extremely well worn self is the performances.Jane Krakowski does the surprise splits (wow!) and a fun spin on her man-hungry comedy (less bitchy,more lovelorn) and Laura Benanti's gorgeous soprano bell keeps ringing while her comic timing is,as ever,potent.She keeps getting TV roles but the small screen has yet to do her any justice (musical comedy being her forte and there not being much of that on TV).We've come to expect greatness from Benanti & Krakowski (and they rarely disappoint) so the surprise in this iteration of the show is Zachary Levi (former star of "Chuck"and voice of Flint Ryder inTangled) who seems rimrod straight and capable if a little dull at the beginning of the story and transforms throughout the overly long running time (2 and a half hours for a featherweight musical?Oops) to endearingly besotted and downright exuberant.He's reallyreallycharming by the wrap which is perfect for a story about falling in love with someone you don't even think you like at first.That said,it's unlikely we'll hear his name called for a Tony nomination  tomorrow morning.Hamiltonisn't leaving much room for other male performers since it's expected to take up 4 or 5 of the 10 spots for the male musical acting categories,so every other production will be fighting to make up the very tiny non-Hamilton list.

Tony Preview: This is the third time the musical has been on the boards.The two previous incarnations received multiple Tony nominations and this one looks likely to do the same since it fared well in precursors but here's an odd coincidence: both of the previous iterations only one won prize and not for the same thing.The original won the Featured Actor Tony musical (for Gavin Creel's current role) and when it was revived in the 1990s sturdy theater star Boyd Gaines took the Tony for the leading man role currently occupied by Levi.UPDATE:She Loves Mewon the most nominations for any musical revival this year!

The big questions tomorrow for the Tony nominations is "how many nominations willHamiltonget?"(It's eligible in literally every musical category except Best Revival,so we can safely expect somewhere between 12-17 nominations depending how it fares in the acting categories) and "can it beatThe Producersrecord 12 wins?"The Producersfamously won every single category BUT Revival and Actress in its year,the two it wasnt eligible for (which both went to the revival of42nd Street).It could conceivably tieThe Producersfor wins but I'd be surprised if it could beat it by winning both of the female categories.Its female stars seem to have less awards buzz than their male counterparts and will probably be competing directly with lots of regularly lauded Broadway powerhouses (including maybe: Audra McDonald,Jesse Mueller,Laura Benanti,Jane Krakowksi) as well as highly raved performances from the stars ofThe Color Purple(Cynthia Erivo and Danielle Brooks) andBright Star(Carmen Cusack)

No,I have not seenHamiltonyet.Yes,getting quite impatient.

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Reader Comments (5)

Seems like a great year to live in New York with lots of money.At least those of us on the west coast will get to enjoy the Tonys.The plays sound great too.Soarsie and Ben and Ciaran and Sophie for the win?How awesome would that be?

May 2,2016 | Unregistered CommenterMikey67

The fact that the Tony Awards are the same weekend as Los Angeles Pride Festival is probably a subtle slap between the coasts.

(Carly Rae Jepsen and Charlie XCX [the lady who sang "Boom Clap"last year]) are the featured performers.So Tween Girl Power this year must be the theme!

May 3,2016 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

My favorite show of the year!I'm happy to see Zachary Levi was nominated today.Jane Krakowski is just incredible.
Jack Cassidy won the Tony for the original production.He played Kodaly the store playboy,not the waiter.Gavin Creel plays Kodaly in this production.

May 3,2016 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Mikey67 -- i definitely don't have lots of moneys but there are several discount programs that make shows not quite affordable but also not bank busters.so you just have to pick and choose which ones to go to instead of you know,buying an expensive 2 dinners or what not.

but shows which you can't get on discounts unless you win lotteries (like Hamilton) i don't get to see unless i win a lottery because who can afford tickets that costs over $140 each.Not me!

May 3,2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I'm a big fan of Laura Benanti and I take pleasure in the fact that someone saw fit to bring her back to Broadway and put her in a musical where she belongs.
She has one of the purest voices since Barbara Cook,singing Vanilla Ice Cream,she is perfect.

May 3,2016 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

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